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 Post subject: American Ballet Theatre - 2007 Met Season
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:06 pm 
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DESMOND RICHARDSON AND RASTA THOMAS TO APPEAR
AS GUEST ARTISTS WITH AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE

Richardson Returns to ABT to Reprise Title Role in Othello


Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie has announced the addition of
Desmond Richardson as Principal Guest Artist and Rasta Thomas as Guest
Artist to American Ballet Theatre¹s 2007 roster.

Richardson and Thomas are scheduled to perform the title role
in three performances of Lar Lubovitch¹s Othello. Richardson, who created
the title role with ABT in 1997, will reprise his performance on Thursday
evening, May 24 at the Metropolitan Opera House, dancing opposite Alessandra
Ferri as Desdemona. Thomas will make his debut with the Company at the
January 13 matinee at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in
Washington, DC. He will repeat the role, opposite Xiomara Reyes as
Desdemona, on Wednesday evening, May 23 at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Principal Guest Artist Desmond Richardson was born in Sumter,
South Carolina and grew up in Queens, New York. He studied at the High
School of Performing Arts, the International Sommer Academie des Tanz in
Koln, Germany, and at the Alvin Ailey Dance Center. In 1987, he joined the
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater where he danced for eight years. From
1994-1996, he appeared as a soloist with Frankfurt Ballet and has also
appeared as a guest artist with Royal Swedish Ballet. Richardson is
co-artistic director, with Dwight Rhoden, of COMPLEXIONS Contemporary
Ballet.

In 1998, Richardson joined the cast of Fosse for which he
received a 1999 Tony Award nomination. He also appeared on Broadway in The
Look of Love: The Songs of Burt Bacharach and Twyla Tharp¹s Movin¹ Out. He
is featured in Patrick Swayze¹s film, One Last Dance and the film version of
Chicago, as well as the soon-to-be-released film Across the Universe,
directed by Julie Taymor

Richardson joined American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer
in January 1997. With ABT, he created the title role in Lar Lubovitch¹s
Othello, a leading role in Nacho Duato¹s Remanso, and performed the roles of
Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet and Carabosse in Sir Kenneth MacMillan¹s The
Sleeping Beauty.

Guest Artist Rasta Thomas was born in San Francisco and raised
in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He studied dance at the Kirov Academy in
Washington, DC and received the Junior Gold Medal at the 1996 Varna
International Ballet Competition. In 1998, he captured the Senior Gold Medal
at the 1998 Jackson International Ballet Competition.

In 1995, Thomas joined Le Jeune Ballet de France, and, in 1997,
became a Principal Artist with the Hartford Ballet. He has appeared as a
guest artist with Kirov Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem,
Pacific Northwest Ballet, Victor Ullate Ballet, Inoue Ballet of Japan, the
Universal Ballet of Korea and the National Ballet of Cuba. His film and
stage credits include One Last Dance and Twyla Tharp¹s Movin¹ Out. Thomas
has also performed in the works of choreographers Lar Lubovitch and Richard
Move.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:17 pm 
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AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE RECEIVES $1 MILLION GIFT
FROM TARA AND JOHN MILNE

Gift to Support Company¹s New Production of The Sleeping Beauty


American Ballet Theatre announced today the receipt of a $1
million gift from Tara and John Milne to support the Company¹s all-new
production of The Sleeping Beauty. The four-act ballet, scheduled for its
World Premiere on Friday evening, June 1, 2007, is choreographed by Artistic
Director Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa, and assisted by former ABT
ballerina Gelsey Kirkland.

³Ballet is my passion, and John and I are so pleased to help
bring ABT¹s very special production of The Sleeping Beauty to the stage of
the Metropolitan Opera House this spring,² said Tara Milne. ³The Sleeping
Beauty is the quintessential classical ballet, embracing all things
wonderful found in a great ballet: the exquisite combination of elegance
and athleticism on the part of the dancers, the beauty and grandeur of a
lavishly detailed production, and a truly rich musical score. We cannot
wait to see it come to life.²
³We are extremely grateful to the Milnes for their tremendous
support,² said Rachel Moore, ABT Executive Director. ³The Sleeping Beauty
is one of the most important ballets in the classical dance canon. The
Milnes¹ gift helps us to bring this glorious ballet back to ABT's repertory
and will allow us to share the beauty of this production with audiences
across the globe.²

Set to the famous score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, American
Ballet Theatre¹s all-new production of The Sleeping Beauty brings together
the Tony Award-winning team of Tony Walton (scenery) and Willa Kim
(costumes), with lighting to be designed by Richard Pilbrow and Dawn Chiang.
ABT will present eleven performances of the ballet this spring, June 1
through June 9 at the Metropolitan Opera House. The Sleeping Beauty will
also have seven performances at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in
Costa Mesa, California,
July 17-22, 2007.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:53 pm 
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Location: Canada
CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE¹S
SPRING SEASON AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

Veronika Part and Marcelo Gomes to Lead World Premiere Cast of
The Sleeping Beauty on June 1, 2007

Guest Artists Desmond Richardson and Rasta Thomas
to Perform Title Role in Othello


Additional casting for American Ballet Theatre¹s 2007 Spring
Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 14-July 7, was announced today
by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

Principal Dancers for the engagement will include Nina
Ananiashvili, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Jose Manuel Carreño, Angel Corella,
Herman Cornejo, Irina Dvorovenko, Alessandra Ferri, Marcelo Gomes, David
Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Vladimir Malakhov, Gillian Murphy,
Xiomara Reyes, Ethan Stiefel, Diana Vishneva and Michele Wiles.

Guest artists for the engagement include Roberto Bolle, a
resident guest artist with La Scala in Milan, Guillaume Côté, a principal
dancer with National Ballet of Canada, Desmond Richardson, artistic director
of Complexions dance company and former ABT Principal Dancer, and Rasta
Thomas.

Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet
Theatre. Superfund Asset Management, Inc. and Northern Trust are the
sponsors of ABT¹s Metropolitan Opera House Season. The 2007 Metropolitan
Opera House season is also made possible with public funds from the National
Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state
agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The 2007 Spring Season will open with the Spring Gala
performance featuring ABT¹s Principal Dancers on Monday, May 14 at 6:30 pm.
The Gala performance will include a special guest performance by
internationally renowned pianist Lang Lang. Honorary Chairmen for the
Spring Gala are Caroline Kennedy and Blaine Trump. Co-Chairmen are Carolina
Herrera, Sloan Lindemann Barnett, Tory Burch and Susan Fales-Hill. Vice
Chairmen include Anne Grauso, Dassyi Olarte de Kanavos and Tara Rockefeller.
ABT¹s Spring Gala is generously sponsored by First American Title Insurance
Company of New York, GRAFF, Griffon Corporation, Carolina Herrera, Ltd.,
Tivia and Richard Kramer, La Prairie, and RexCorp Realty.



World Premiere

The World Premiere of ABT¹s all-new production of The Sleeping
Beauty is scheduled for Friday evening, June 1 with Veronika Part as
Princess Aurora and Marcelo Gomes as Prince Désiré. Part and Gomes will
reprise their roles on Monday, June 4. Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella
will debut in the leading roles at the Saturday, June 2 matinee performance
with a repeat of their roles on Thursday evening, June 7. Julie Kent and
Ethan Stiefel will perform the leading roles on the evenings of June 2 and
June 5. Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky will debut in the leading
roles at the Wednesday, June 6 matinee and Friday evening, June 8. Diana
Vishneva will perform the role of Aurora for the first time with ABT,
opposite Vladimir Malakhov as Prince Désiré, on Wednesday evening, June 6
and again on Saturday evening, June 9. Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg
will debut in the leading roles at the Saturday, June 9 matinee.

The Sleeping Beauty, with choreography after Marius Petipa, will
be staged by Kevin McKenzie and Gelsey Kirkland, with assistance by Michael
Chernov. The production, which will receive eleven performances through
June 9, features scenery by Tony Walton, costumes by Willa Kim and lighting
by Richard Pilbrow and Dawn Chiang. Tara and John Milne are the original
underwriters of ABT¹s The Sleeping Beauty. Co-underwriters of this
production are Joan Taub Ades and Alan M. Ades, Adrienne Arsht, Arlene and
Harvey Blau, Devon and Peter Briger, Susan and Leonard Feinstein, Lori and
Stephen Garofalo, Jill L. Leinbach and Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence J. Shaw.
Additional funding has been provided by the NIB Foundation. Special thanks
to Caroline Newhouse. Performances of The Sleeping Beauty are made possible
with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.



Revival

Commissioned by American Ballet Theatre in 1997, Lar Lubovitch¹s
Othello will have its New York Revival Premiere on Tuesday evening, May 22
with Julie Kent as Desdemona and Marcelo Gomes in the title role. Gillian
Murphy and David Hallberg will perform the leading roles at the matinee on
Wednesday, May 23. Guest artist Rasta Thomas will perform the title role on
Wednesday evening, May 23 opposite Xiomara Reyes. Alessandra Ferri will
debut in the role of Desdemona opposite guest artist Desmond Richardson as
Othello on Thursday evening, May 24. Othello is choreographed by Lubovitch
and set to a commissioned score by Elliot Goldenthal. The full-evening
ballet features scenery by George Tsypin, costumes by Ann Hould-Ward,
lighting by Pat Collins and projections by Wendall K. Harrington. The
ballet received its revival premiere on January 11, 2007 at The John F.
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Othello will be
given four performances through May 24. This production has been made
possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a
State Agency. Additional funding has been provided by the Audrey Love
Charitable Foundation.



Returning Classics

Following the Opening Night Gala, American Ballet Theatre will
present eight consecutive performances of Natalia Makarova¹s La Bayadère,
beginning Tuesday evening, May 15. Set to the music of Ludwig Minkus and
arranged by John Lanchbery, La Bayadère features scenery by PierLuigi
Samaritani, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting by Toshiro Ogawa.
Conceived and directed by Makarova after Marius Petipa, La Bayadère was
given its World Premiere by ABT in 1980. The season¹s first performance of
the full-evening ballet will feature Paloma Herrera as Nikiya, Angel Corella
as Solor and Gillian Murphy as Gamzatti. This production was generously
supported through an endowed gift from Ruth and Harold Newman. La Bayadère
is presented in loving memory of Mrs. Caroline Newhouse.

The season¹s first performance of Sir Kenneth MacMillan¹s Manon
is scheduled for Monday evening, June 11 with Alessandra Ferri in the title
role and guest artist Roberto Bolle as Des Grieux, Herman Cornejo as Lescaut
and Gillian Murphy as Lescaut¹s Mistress. Set to a score by Jules Massenet
and inspired by the novel Manon Lescaut, Manon was staged for ABT by Monica
Parker and features scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting
by Thomas Skelton. Manon was given its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet
at the Royal Opera House in London on March 7, 1974 and was first performed
by ABT at the Metropolitan Opera House on May 28, 1993. This production was
generously supported through an endowed gift from Anka K. Palitz, in memory
of Clarence Y. Palitz, Jr.

Diana Vishneva and Angel Corella will lead the season¹s first
performance of Sir Kenneth MacMillan¹s Romeo and Juliet on Monday evening,
June 18. Set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet features
scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by Thomas Skelton.
Principal Dancer Alessandra Ferri will dance her final performance with
American Ballet Theatre in the role of Juliet on Saturday evening, June 23
at the Metropolitan Opera House. In her final bow as Juliet, Ferri will
dance opposite guest artist Roberto Bolle as Romeo. Romeo and Juliet,
scheduled for eight performances through June 23, received its World
Premiere by The Royal Ballet in London on February 9, 1965 and was given its
ABT Company Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House on April 22, 1985.
ABT¹s production of Romeo and Juliet is generously underwritten through an
endowed gift from Ali and Monica Wambold. Additional funding has been
provided by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.

Eight performances of Swan Lake, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie
after Marius Petipa, will be given beginning Monday evening, June 25 with
Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky leading the opening night cast.
Swan Lake is set to the score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky and features
scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler. This
production of Swan Lake premiered on March 24, 2000 at The John F. Kennedy
Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Swan Lake is generously
underwritten by The Rosh Foundation.

Last season¹s Company Premiere of James Kudelka¹s Cinderella
will conclude the season with seven performances beginning Monday evening,
July 2. The three-act ballet, set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev,
features scenery and costumes by David Boechler and lighting by Christopher
Dennis. Kudelka¹s Cinderella was given its World Premiere by The National
Ballet of Canada in Toronto, Canada on May 8, 2004. This production was
generously supported through an endowed gift from Monica, Stefano, Cosima,
and Tassilo Corsi. This production is made possible with public funds from
the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the
Arts, a state agency.



Returning Repertory

Eight performances of repertory, May 25 through May 31, will
also be featured as part of American Ballet Theatre¹s Spring Season. The
program will include George Balanchine¹s Symphonie Concertante followed by
Sir Frederick Ashton¹s The Dream.

Set to Mozart¹s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat Major for Violin
and Viola, Symphonie Concertante was created in 1947 for Ballet Society and
received its ABT Company Premiere in 1983. The ballet features costumes by
Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting by David K.H. Elliott. This production of
Symphonie Concertante is staged by Susan Jones. The season¹s first
performance of the ballet on Friday evening, May 25 will feature Julie Kent,
Marcelo Gomes and Paloma Herrera in the leading roles. Symphonie Concertante
has been made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on
the Arts, a state agency.

Sir Frederick Ashton¹s The Dream, staged by Anthony Dowell with
Christopher Carr, is set to music by Felix Mendelssohn, with sets and
costumes by David Walker and lighting by John B. Reed. Ashton¹s The Dream
received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet in 1964. Adapted from A
Midsummer Night¹s Dream by William Shakespeare, The Dream was first
performed by ABT in May 2002 at the Metropolitan Opera House. Xiomara Reyes
will make her debut as Titania opposite Ethan Stiefel as Oberon and Herman
Cornejo as Puck in the season¹s first performances of The Dream on Friday
evening, May 25. The Dream is presented in loving memory of Clarence Y.
Palitz, Jr. by his family. Performances of The Dream have been made
possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the
New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Additional funding has
been provided by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.

ABTKids

ABTKids, the annual one-hour introduction to ballet, is
scheduled for Saturday, June 9 at 11:30am. This season¹s performance of
ABTKids, Sleeping Beauty and Friends, will also feature a special appearance
by Angelina Ballerina. All tickets for ABTKids are $25.

CA, Inc. is the leading corporate sponsor of ABT¹s Family
Initiatives. ABTKids is generously supported through an endowed gift from
Thomas and Lydia West in loving memory of Vivian B. West.

Pre-Performance Workshops

Pre-performance workshops, an activity based program led by ABT
Teaching Artists, are available to matinee ticket holders on Saturday, May
19 (11:00 am), Saturday, May 26 (11:00 am), Saturday, June 23 (11:00 am),
and to ABTKids ticket holders on Saturday, June 9 (9:30am). Workshops are
held in the rehearsal studios of the Metropolitan Opera House. Tickets to
the workshops are $20 per person and are only available to ticket holders
for the matinee performance following the workshop.

American Ballet Theatre¹s education programs are supported, in
part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Box Office to Open April_1

Individual tickets for American Ballet Theatre¹s 2007 Spring
Season are on sale beginning April 1 and are available in-person at the
Metropolitan Opera House box office, by phone at 212-362-6000 and on-line at
ABT¹s website www.abt.org <http://www.abt.org> .


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:04 pm 
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I find it a bit worrying that a company with so many talented male dancers need to bring in so many male guest principals - Bolle, Cote, Thomas and Richardson. This seems to suggest that either the company does not have enough faith in the talents, health or ticket selling power of its own men or doesn't have enough men on the roster to support the current rep.

For instance, why bring 'Othello' - which I've heard is not exactly a masterpiece - back to to the rep if it requires bringing in two guests for the principal roles ? Is there really no one else besides Gomes in the company who would not fit the role/benefit from the opportunity? Or no other ballet than would fit better with the current talents?

But either way, I would think the more responsible and cost effective method of going forward would be to develop from within the ranks and select a rep based upon your current talents. How can dancers like Radetsky, Lopez, Pastor etc. expect to gain experience if principal roles are frequently given to guests? And what motivation does that give to corps members and soloists if they see roles going to guests all the time. It's not like there have been a whole lot of dancers to develop through the ranks recently - Hallberg and Cornejo are the only men in a long time to be promoted other than Gomes. And for every man that has been promoted, I wince at the number of talented dancers who have departed because they were 'abandoned' in the corps.


Kate


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:19 am 
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I think the number is relatively small and the purposes for which they are being hired are rather circumscribed. Desmond Richardson is the originator of Othello and his presence will guarantee that a lot of tickets will be sold. ABT, in contrast to NYCB, has always been about star vehicles, so this fits their tradition. As for why they should do it at all, it's about recouping their investment, as co-commissioners and co-owners of the production (with San Francisco Ballet), they need to get their money's worth out of their investment. Roberto Bolle is probably being brought in at Alessandra Ferri's request for her farewell in R&J. Cote is an intriguing tryout -- NBoC should move to place golden handcuffs on him -- he has been quite the "man of the hour" for them recently. Rasta Thomas is becoming ubiquitous -- he was in Seattle for Fancy Free in September and I understand there are plans to bring him back here as well. Regarding the ABT "glass ceiling" for homegrown dancers, this is another unfortunate (but longstanding) complaint about the ABT system. To place a positive spin on the situation, they provide other U.S. companies with plentiful opportunities to enhance their own rosters with seasoned performers at the soloist and principal ranks without the ten year investment in their training and grooming.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:44 pm 
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PIANIST LANG LANG TO PERFORM
AT AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE¹S OPENING NIGHT SPRING GALA
MONDAY, MAY 14, 6:30 P.M. AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE


A special performance by acclaimed concert pianist Lang Lang
will highlight American Ballet Theatre¹s Spring Gala on Monday evening, May
14 at 6:30 P.M. at the Metropolitan Opera House. The evening, which opens
ABT¹s 2007 Spring engagement, will feature ABT¹s Principal Dancers
performing highlights from the season.

In his first appearance with American Ballet Theatre, Lang Lang
will perform Frédéric Chopin¹s Waltz in A minor, Op. 34, No. 2, accompanied
on-stage by ABT¹s dancers performing a pas de deux created especially for
the evening by choreographer Brian Reeder. Lang Lang will also perform
Franz Liszt¹s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.

Additional highlights of ABT¹s Opening Night performance include
excerpts from the upcoming World Premiere of The Sleeping Beauty with
performances by Michele Wiles, Veronika Part, Diana Vishneva, Irina
Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky. The evening will also feature Xiomara
Reyes and Herman Cornejo in the balcony pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet,
Julie Kent and Jose Manuel Carreño performing the Act I pas de deux from
Manon, Nina Ananiashvili and Angel Corella in the pas de deux from Swan Lake
Act III, Alessandra Ferri and Marcelo Gomes in the pas deux from Act III of
Othello, and Paloma Herrera, David Hallberg, Gillian Murphy and Ethan
Stiefel performing excerpts from Act I of La Bayadère.

ABT¹s Spring Gala is sponsored by Carolina Herrera, Ltd., First
American Title Insurance Company of New York, Graff, Griffon Corporation,
Tivia & Richard Kramer, La Prairie and RexCorp Realty. Caroline Kennedy and
Blaine Trump will serve as Honorary Chairmen for The Spring Gala and
Co-Chairmen for the evening include Sloan Lindemann Barnett, Tory Burch,
Susan Fales-Hill and Carolina Herrera. Underwriting Co-Chairmen include
Maria and Henri Barguirdjjan, Arlene and Harvey Blau, Lynne Florio and
Malcolm Sage, Tivia and Richard Kramer, Nora and James Orphanides and Debby
and Scott Rechler. Vice Chairmen are Dassyi Olarte de Kanavos, Anne Grauso
and Tara Rockefeller.

A Gala dinner under the Tent at Lincoln Center will immediately
follow the performance. Gala benefit tickets priced at $1,500, $2,000 and
$2,500 include the performance and post-performance dinner. For Gala
benefit ticket information only, call American Ballet Theatre¹s Special
Events office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3239.

Performance-only tickets are priced $27-$140 and are available
at the Metropolitan Opera House box office or by calling 212-362-6000. For
more information, please visit ABT¹s website at www.abt.org
<http://www.abt.org/> .

-30-

Monday, April 23, 2007






AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
Metropolitan Opera House - Spring, 2007


Mon. Eve., May 14, 6:30 P.M. GALA ­ LA BAYADÈRE ­
Act II Shades opening adagio;


THE SLEEPING BEAUTY (Excerpts) ­

Lilac Fairy (Act III) ­ Wiles;

Rose Adagio ­ Part;

Act II Variation ­ Vishneva;

Act III Grand Pas ­ Dvorovenko, Beloserkovsky;


PIÈCE D¹OCCASION ­ Lang Lang;

ROMEO AND JULIET Balcony Pas de Deux ­ Reyes,

Cornejo

MANON Act I Pas de Deux ­ Kent, Carreño;

SWAN LAKE Act III Pas de Deux ­ Ananiashvili, Corella;

OTHELLO Act III Pas de Deux ­ Ferri, Gomes;


LA BAYADÈRE (Act I excerpts) -

Temple Pas de Deux ­ Herrera, Hallberg;

Gamzatti Pas D¹Action Variation ­ Murphy;

Solor Pas D¹Action Variation ­ Stiefel;

Pas D¹Action Coda - Murphy


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:29 am 
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Why is a pianist headlining a ballet gala?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:32 pm 
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Sounds like he was in town, available and willing to do it. He has become very critically acclaimed and, at least, its a musical/artistic hook (as opposed to some non-artistic gimmick) to help sell the very pricey tickets.


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 8:28 pm 
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Unfortunately, I missed the prior posts about ABT casting, and belatedly add my comments in response to Francis's response to Ksneds.

As may be anticipated if you happen to see the post I just made regarding NYCB's casting of R&J, I agree with the complaint about bringing in yet more non-ABT dancers where ABT soloists and corps dancers would appear to be equally able to dance the role. [That having been said, I'd consider giving up my first-born to see Alina Cojocaru brought back to ABT as a guest. OK. I'm a hypocrite.] But even if Richardson, Bolle and Cote have circumscribed roles and even if there are legitimate economic or artistic reasons for them to be brought in (Cote was brought in last year as a replacement for an injured dancer -- Steifel, if I recall correctly - who would be equally appropriate to partner Xiomara Reyes, and did a fine job, which I guess is why he's being brought back.) But, as Kate indicates, these guest replacements are symptomatic of a greater concern.

Yes, ABT has indeed been predominantly about star vehicles. But it hasn't always been that way, and wasn't that way exclusively. For whatever reason, Baryshnikov treated audiences to Cynthia Harvey and Cheryl Yeager in major roles before many in the audience knew who they were. And I recall, prior to Baryshnikov, when the ABT publiciity machine promoted the debut of a home-grown, unheralded dancer in her first Swan Lake, including trumpeting her debut in a lead article in the New York Times.

It seems to me that McKenzie is missing a golden opportunity with this NY season to give certain promising soloists and corps dancers a chance to dance lead roles, and to give New York audiences the opportunity to watch dancers grow. His casting of Juliet is a good example. I understand the reasons behind giving established principal dancers the leads -- perhaps contractual; perhaps to sell tickets. But wouldn't it be more adventurous, and potentially more rewarding in the long run, to give dancers like Maria Riccetto, Renata Pavam, and particularly Sarah Lane (and there are probably several other likely candidates who don't come immediately to mind) the opportunity now while they're still relatively "new", and before they see the need to escape to another company? I look forward to seeing Veronika Part dancing Aurora, but to me, that casting is the only pleasant surpise in the season.

I guess there will always be established "stars" that ABT can bring in. But bringing in stars shouldn't preclude advancement from within. And as exciting as it is to see Diana Vishneva dancing just about anything, it would be equally exciing to see Sarah Lane dance her first Juliet.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 2:12 pm 
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CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR FIRST TWO WEEKS OF
AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE¹S 2007 SPRING SEASON
AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

Alessandra Ferri to Debut in Othello, Thursday Evening, May 24

Casting for the first two weeks of American Ballet Theatre¹s
2007 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House was announced today by
Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

The Company will give eight performances of Natalia Makarova¹s
La Bayadère beginning Tuesday evening, May 15, led by Paloma Herrera, Angel
Corella and Gillian Murphy. At the matinee on Wednesday, May 16, Veronika
Part will dance Nikiya for the first time with ABT opposite Marcelo Gomes,
who will debut in the role of Solor. Diana Vishneva will dance Nikiya for
the first time with ABT at the evening performance on Wednesday, May 16.
Other debuts for the week include David Hallberg as Solor on Thursday, May
17 and Maxim Beloserkovsky as Solor at the matinee on Saturday, May 19. In
addition, Irina Dvorovenko will dance the role of Nikiya for the first time
in New York at the matinee on May 19.

The New York Revival Premiere of Lar Lubovitch¹s Othello will
take place on Tuesday, May 22, with Julie Kent and Marcelo Gomes in the
leading roles. Blaine Hoven will debut as Cassio at the matinee on
Wednesday, May 23 and Alessandra Ferri will dance the role of Desdemona for
the first time on Thursday, May 24. Othello received its Revival Premiere
on January 11, 2007 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in
Washington, D.C.

The second week will continue with a Repertory Program featuring
George Balanchine¹s Symphonie Concertante and Sir Frederick Ashton¹s The
Dream. Xiomara Reyes will debut as Titania in the season¹s first
performance of The Dream on Friday, May 25, opposite Ethan Stiefel as Oberon
and Herman Cornejo as Puck. Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg will dance
the leading roles for the first time at the matinee on Saturday, May 26.

Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet
Theatre. Superfund Asset Management, Inc. and Northern Trust are the
sponsors of ABT¹s Metropolitan Opera House Season. The 2007 Metropolitan
Opera House season is also made possible with public funds from the National
Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state
agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Tickets for American Ballet Theatre¹s 2007 Metropolitan Opera
House season, priced $24-$110, are available at the Met box office, online,
or by phone at 212-362-6000. The Metropolitan Opera House is located on
Broadway between 64th and 65th streets in New York City. For more
information, visit ABT¹s website at www.abt.org <http://www.abt.org/> .

Complete casting follows:


FIRST WEEK

Mon. Eve., May 14, 6:30 P.M. GALA ­ LA BAYADÈRE ­
Act II Shades

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY (Excerpts) ­

Lilac Fairy (Act III) ­ Wiles; Rose Adagio ­ Part;

Act II Variation ­ Vishneva;

Act III Grand Pas ­ Dvorovenko, Beloserkovsky

PIÈCE D¹OCCASION ­ Lang Lang; Abrera, Radetsky

ROMEO AND JULIET Balcony Pas de Deux ­ Reyes, Cornejo

OTHELLO Act III Pas de Deux ­ Ferri, Gomes

SWAN LAKE Act III Pas de Deux ­ Ananiashvili, Corella

MANON Act I Pas de Deux ­ Kent, Carreño

LA BAYADÈRE (Act I excerpts) -

Temple Pas de Deux ­ Herrera, Hallberg;

Gamzatti Pas D¹Action Variation ­ Murphy;

Solor Pas D¹Action Variation ­ Stiefel;

Pas D¹Action Coda

Tues. Eve., May 15, 8 P.M. LA BAYADÈRE ­
Herrera, Corella, Murphy

Wed. Mat., May 16, 2 P.M. LA BAYADÈRE ­
Part+, Gomes*, Wiles

Wed. Eve., May 16, 8 P.M. LA BAYADÈRE ­
Vishneva+, Stiefel, Abrera

Thurs. Eve., May 17, 8 P.M. LA BAYADÈRE ­
Herrera, Hallberg*, Murphy

Fri. Eve., May 18, 8 P.M. LA BAYADÈRE ­
Part, Gomes, Wiles

Sat. Mat., May 19, 2 P.M. LA BAYADÈRE ­
Dvorovenko**, Beloserkovsky*, Murphy

Sat. Eve., May 19, 8 P.M. LA BAYADÈRE ­
Vishneva, Stiefel, Abrera

(SECOND WEEK

Mon. Eve., May 21, 8 P.M. LA BAYADÈRE ­
Ananiashvili, Carreño, Dvorovenko

Tues. Eve., May 22, 8 P.M. OTHELLO ­
Gomes**, Kent, Radetsky**, Abrera**, Cornejo**

Wed. Mat., May 23, 2 P.M. OTHELLO ­
Hallberg**, Murphy**, Beloserkovsky**, Butler**,

Hoven*

Wed. Eve., May 23, 8 P.M. OTHELLO ­ R.
Thomas**, Reyes**, Lopez**, Riccetto**,

Matthews**

Thurs. Eve., May 24, 8 P.M. OTHELLO ­ Gomes,
Ferri*, Radetsky, Abrera, Cornejo

Fri. Eve., May 25, 8 P.M. SYMPHONIE
CONCERTANTE ­ Kent, Herrera, Gomes;

THE DREAM ­ Reyes*, Stiefel, Cornejo

Sat. Mat., May 26, 2 P.M. SYMPHONIE
CONCERTANTE ­ Wiles, Part, Beloserkovsky;

THE DREAM ­ Murphy*, Hallberg*, Lopez

Sat. Eve., May 26, 8 P.M. SYMPHONIE
CONCERTANTE ­ Abrera**, Murphy, Malakhov;

THE DREAM ­ Kent, Gomes, Cornejo

-30-

*Editors please note: first time in a role:
Wed. Mat., May 16 ­ Gomes (Solor) in La Bayadère
Thurs. Eve., May 17 ­ Hallberg (Solor) in La Bayadère
Sat. Mat., May 18 ­ Beloserkovsky (Solor) in La Bayadère
Wed. Mat., May 23 ­ Hoven (Cassio) in Othello
Thurs. Eve., May 24 ­ Ferri (Desdemona) in Othello
Fri. Eve., May 25 ­ Reyes in The Dream
Sat. Mat., May 26 ­ Murphy, Hallberg in The Dream

**Editors please note: first time in a role in New York:
Sat. Mat., May 19 ­ Dvorovenko (Nikiya) in La Bayadère
Tue. Eve., May 22 ­ Gomes (Othello), Radetsky (Iago), Abrera (Emilia),
Cornejo (Cassio) in Othello
Wed. Mat., May 23 ­ Hallberg (Othello), Murphy (Desdemona), Beloserkovsky
(Iago), Butler (Emilia)
in Othello
Wed. Eve., May 23 ­ R. Thomas (Othello), Reyes (Desdemona), Lopez (Iago),
Riccetto (Emilia),
Matthews (Cassio) in Othello
Sat. Eve., May 26 ­ Abrera in Symphonie Concertante

+Editors please note: first time in a role with ABT:
Wed. Mat., May 16 ­ Part (Nikiya) in La Bayadère
Wed. Eve., May 16 ­ Vishneva (Nikiya) in La Bayadère


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 2:03 pm 
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Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR THIRD AND FOURTH WEEKS
OF AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE¹S SPRING SEASON
AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

Veronika Part and Marcelo Gomes to Lead World Premiere
of The Sleeping Beauty, Friday Evening, June 1


Casting for the third and fourth weeks of American Ballet
Theatre¹s 2007 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House was announced
today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

The Company¹s performances of George Balanchine¹s Symphonie
Concertante and Sir Frederick Ashton¹s The Dream will continue through May
31. On the evening of Tuesday, May 29, Maria Riccetto will debut in
Symphonie Concertante and Diana Vishneva, Angel Corella and Craig Salstein
will dance the leading roles in The Dream for the first time.

American Ballet Theatre¹s all-new production of The Sleeping
Beauty will have its World Premiere on Friday, June 1, led by Veronika Part
and Marcelo Gomes, with Gillian Murphy as the Lilac Fairy and Martine van
Hamel as Carabosse. Debuts on Saturday, June 2 include Paloma Herrera as
Aurora, Angel Corella as Prince Désiré, Michele Wiles as the Lilac Fairy and
Carmen Corella as Carabosse at the matinee, and Julie Kent as Aurora, Ethan
Stiefel as Prince Désiré and Stella Abrera as the Lilac Fairy at the evening
performance. Debuts for the fourth week include Gelsey Kirkland as Carabosse
on Monday, June 4, Irina Dvorovenko as Aurora and Maxim Beloserkovsky as
Prince Désiré at the Wednesday, June 6 matinee, Diana Vishneva (Aurora) and
Vladimir Malakhov (Prince Désiré) at the Wednesday, June 6 evening
performance, and Gillian Murphy (Aurora), David Hallberg (Prince Désiré) and
Maria Riccetto (Lilac Fairy) at the Saturday, June 9 matinee. Staged by
Kevin McKenzie, Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov, after choreography by
Marius Petipa, The Sleeping Beauty is set to a score by Peter Ilyitch
Tchaikovsky and features sets by Tony Walton, costumes by Willa Kim, and
lighting by Richard Pilbrow and Dawn Chiang.

Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet
Theatre. Superfund Asset Management, Inc. and Northern Trust are the
sponsors of ABT¹s Metropolitan Opera House Season. The 2007 Metropolitan
Opera House season is also made possible with public funds from the National
Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state
agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Tickets for American Ballet Theatre¹s 2007 Metropolitan Opera
House season, priced $24-$110, are available at the Met box office, online,
or by phone at 212-362-6000. The Metropolitan Opera House is located on
Broadway between 64th and 65th streets in New York City. For more
information, visit ABT¹s website at www.abt.org <http://www.abt.org/> .

Complete casting follows:

THIRD WEEK

Mon. Eve., May 28, 8 P.M. SYMPHONIE
CONCERTANTE ­ Kent, Herrera, Gomes

THE DREAM ­ Reyes, Stiefel, Cornejo

Tues. Eve., May 29, 8 P.M. SYMPHONIE
CONCERTANTE ­ Dvorovenko, Riccetto*, Saveliev

THE DREAM ­ Vishneva*, Corella*, Salstein*

Wed. Mat., May 30, 2 P.M. SYMPHONIE
CONCERTANTE ­ Abrera, Murphy, Malakhov

THE DREAM ­ Kent, Gomes, Cornejo

Wed. Eve., May 30, 8 P.M. SYMPHONIE
CONCERTANTE ­ Wiles, Part, Beloserkovsky

THE DREAM ­ Muprhy, Hallberg, Lopez

Thurs. Eve. May 31, 8 P.M. SYMPHONIE
CONCERTANTE ­ Dvorovenko, Riccetto, Saveliev

THE DREAM ­ Vishneva, Corella, Salstein

Fri. Eve., June 1, 8 P.M. THE
SLEEPING BEAUTY (WORLD PREMIERE) ­ Part, Gomes,

Murphy, van Hamel, Reyes, Cornejo

Sat. Mat., June 2, 2 P.M. THE
SLEEPING BEAUTY ­ Herrera*, Corella*, Wiles*,

C. Corella*, Lane*, Lopez*

Sat. Eve., June 2, 8 P.M. THE
SLEEPING BEAUTY ­ Kent*, Stiefel*, Abrera*, van Hamel,

Riccetto*, Radetsky*

FOURTH WEEK

Mon. Eve., June 4, 8 P.M. THE SLEEPING
BEAUTY ­ Part, Gomes, Murphy, Kirkland*,

Reyes, Cornejo

Tues. Eve., June 5, 8 P.M. THE
SLEEPING BEAUTY ­ Kent, Stiefel, Wiles, van Hamel,

Lane, Lopez

Wed. Mat., June 6, 2 P.M. THE SLEEPING
BEAUTY ­ Dvorovenko*, Beloserkovsky*, Wiles,

Kirkland, Abrera*, Saveliev*

Wed. Eve., June 6, 8 P.M. THE SLEEPING
BEAUTY ­ Vishneva*, Malakhov*, Abrera,

van Hamel, Reyes, Cornejo

Thurs. Eve., June 7, 8 P.M. THE SLEEPING
BEAUTY ­ Herrera, Corella, Abrera, C. Corella,

Riccetto, Radetsky

Fri. Eve., June 8, 8 P.M. THE
SLEEPING BEAUTY ­ Dvorovenko, Beloserkovsky, Wiles,

Kirkland, Abrera, Saveliev

Sat. Mat., June 9, 2 P.M. THE SLEEPING
BEAUTY ­ Murphy*, Hallberg*, Riccetto*,

C. Corella, Seo*, Radetsky

Sat. Eve., June 9, 8 P.M. THE SLEEPING
BEAUTY ­ Vishneva, Malakhov, Abrera,

Kirkland, Reyes, Cornejo

-30-

Editors please note: first time in a role:
Tues. May 29 ­ Riccetto in Symphonie Concertante; Vishneva (Titania),
Corella (Oberon), Salstein (Puck)
in The Dream
Sat. Mat., June 2 ­ Herrera (Aurora), Corella (Désiré), Wiles (Lilac Fairy),
C. Corella (Carabosse),
Lane (Princess Florine), Lopez (Bluebird) in The Sleeping Beauty
Sat. Eve., June 2 ­ Kent (Aurora), Stiefel (Désiré), Abrera (Lilac Fairy),
Riccetto (Princess Florine),
Radetsky (Bluebird) in The Sleeping Beauty
Mon. Eve., June 4 ­ Kirkland (Carabosse) in The Sleeping Beauty
Wed. Mat., June 6 ­ Dvorovenko (Aurora), Beloserkovsky (Désiré), Abrera
(Princess Florine),
Saveliev (Bluebird) in The Sleeping Beauty
Wed. Eve., June 6 ­ Vishneva (Aurora), Malakhov (Désiré) in The Sleeping
Beauty
Sat. Mat., June 9 ­ Murphy (Aurora), Hallberg (Désiré), Riccetto (Lilac
Fairy), Seo (Princess Florine)
in The Sleeping Beauty


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 342
Location: New Jersey
Gasp. Gelsey Kirkland, in case you (pl.) haven't gathered from some of my earlier postings, is one of - if not the - main reason I got hooked on ballet. I knew she was co-staging it, but I didn't know she was going to perform. I'm almost scared of the thought of seeing her on stage again.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 2:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
I like Alistair Macaulay better with each review...he tells it as he sees it and approaches it all with such a fresh and knowledgable viewpoint. Kudos to him for calling ABT on their claims about the 'Sleeping Beauty' choreography - whether or not most of the audience will catch the errors, there is no excuse for not getting their history correct.

Quote:
Gliding Through the Classics With a Sample of What’s Ahead

by Alistair Macaulay
The NY Times

I come from centuries-old agricultural stock. Why do I mention this when starting to review the Monday night gala that opened American Ballet Theater’s spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House? I once groaned, “I’ve got to go to a gala,” to my brother, who had then been specializing in pigs for 15 years. He replied, “You said that in just the same tone as I use when I say, ‘I’ve got to clear the pig slurry.’ ”

Those who put together the Monday gala certainly knew three invaluable rules. 1. No matter how many ballerinas, only one set of 32 fouetté turns. 2. Only one death scene. 3. No “Dying Swan.” But for a gala, you want a feeling of Champagne on the stage, and that’s hard to sustain in an evening quilted together out of 5- or 10-minute “highlight” excerpts.


Click here for more.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 2:48 am 
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Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
ABT's Met Season opens with "La Bayadere"

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/17/arts/ ... 7baya.html


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 5:11 pm 
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Posts: 342
Location: New Jersey
American Ballet Theatre
La Bayadere
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center
New York, NY
May 19, 2007 (Evening)


The truth is out.

Diana Vishneva, who is – with good reason – rapidly approaching iconic stature, took an extra step at last night’s performance of Natalia Makarova’s staging of La Bayadere. A small hop, inconsequential, that wasn’t supposed to be there. It was in Act II, when she was being supported by a billowy ribbon of fabric that was being held on the other side by her partner for the performance, Ethan Stiefel. The fabric was pulled a little too strongly – or maybe not strongly enough. And there was this little hop. She recovered as if nothing had happened, and continued her remarkable performance as Nikiya in Natalia Makarova’s staging of La Bayadere. But there was the proof. She is not a machine. She is simply one of the most superb ballerinas to have graced a stage.

Ms. Vishneva is one of those dancers whose performances become cherished memories. It’s not just whether she does a role better than anyone else – in a world populated by glorious ballerinas in companies around the world, which one is better than another is a matter of taste rather than the dancer’s accomplishment. But it always is a privilege to watch Diana Vishneva dance.

The plot of La Bayadere is by now familiar, although it seems like years since it was last performed in New York. A product, perhaps, of Europe’s late 19th Century fascination with exotic lands, the piece is set in a Royal India that echoes images of works of art now confined to museums. Solor, a valiant and celebrated warrior, is in love with Nikiya, a “bayadere,” or temple dancer, and she with him. Nikiya isn’t just any temple dancer, she is the temple dancer. One would expect the most valiant and celebrated warrier in the land the fall for the temple dancer. But the Radjah of the kingdom has other plans; he wants the valiant and celebrated warrior to wed his own daughter, Gamzatti – who is in love with Solor herself. And to complicate things, the High Brahmin himself is also in love with Nikiya. Within two scenes, the High Brahmin vows to do away with Solor, and the Radjah and Gamzatti both vow to kill Nikiya (they can’t kill Solor, since he’s to marry Gamzatti). Nikiya is subsequently killed by a poisonous snake hidden in a basket of flowers, and becomes Solor’s vision and the Radjah and Gamzatti’s nemesis until, at the instant of Solor and Gamzatti’s completion of their wedding vows, their palace and all persons in it are destroyed, and Solor and Nikiya are then reunited in eternal paradise.

The sumptuous production of this tale that Makarova recreated takes this story out of soap-opera status and turns it into a work of art. Nothing about the production is less than first-rate – the glorious sets and costumes by Pierluigi Samaritani and Theoni V. Aldredge, the lighting by Toshiro Ogawa, and the Minkus music as arranged by John Lanchberry. But it is Makarova’s choreography, after Petipa, that gives the piece life. It may not be a classic like “Swan Lake” or “Giselle”, and it may not sear the heart like “Romeo and Juliet”, but La Bayadere is serious ballet to admire and serious fun to watch.

It is almost unnecessary to observe that Ms. Vishneva’s dancing – except for that little hop – was flawless. Superlatives simply are inadequate. She shifts from exquisite lyricism to blazing speed in a heartbeat; executes perfect arabesques, jumps, turns, whatever… But her acting is as sublime as her dancing. She always seems to bring something to a role that makes it hers alone, and her Nikiya was no exception. Ms. Vishneva’s Nikiya was more feisty than others I’ve seen. More than just a beautiful temple dancer who does what she’s told to do, she fights back. With a vengeance. When Gamzatti offers Nikiya her jewels to get her to give up Solor, Vishneva’s Nikiya doesn’t just decline in somewhat confused embarrassment, she’s insulted. And angry. What then is often performed as a battle of unequals becomes, at least for a short time, a cat fight, until Nikiya realizes that she will never win.

But this performance benefited not just from Vishneva’s Nikiya, but also from a cast that in almost all respects was remarkable. I’ve never seen Ethan Stiefel dance with such aggressive confidence. His Solor knew well that he was the best warrior in the kingdom, that he was the handsomest man in the kingdom, and that he was the best dancer in the kingdom. His partnering qualities, always good, were singularly impressive, and his dancing matched Vishneva’s in both execution and spirit. Stella Abrera was impressive in all respects as Gamzatti (her solo in Act III was flawlessly done), and Craig Salstein was a surprisingly superb Head Fakir. The only character that was less than the best – or equal to the best – that I’ve seen was Victor Barbee’s High Brahmin, but this wasn’t his fault. His performance was excellent, but he simply lacked the bearing to be the High Brahmin. The physical dominance and strength, and the hint of madness, weren’t quite there.

Two of the “supporting” performances, though, were extraordinary – one a quick showcase, the other almost easily missed.

I’ve never seen the role of the Bronze Idol (which is intended to, and always does, bring the house down) performed poorly. On the contrary, each dancer who I’ve seen in the role seems to accomplish a miracle of non-stop movement that somehow manages to end abruptly when the music tells it to. Even the audience gets out of breath watching it. But Herman Cornejo’s Idol was another Idol entirely. Of course, he did the same steps the others do. But instead of just keeping up, or catching up, with the music, Cornejo was ahead of it. He was so fast, and so clean in execution, that he almost seemed to have time to pause before moving on to the next series of steps.

As bravura a role as the Bronze Idol is, the role of Aya, Gamzatti’s servant, seems almost an afterthought. But proving once again that there are no small roles, Sarawanee Tanatanit was simply awesome in her hyper-active subservience. She seemed, at times, to move as quickly as Cornejo, even when all she was moving was her hands.


But even with Vishneva and Steifel and Cornejo, the image that is etched in the mind from this or any other performance of La Bayadere must be the corps in Act II. Led down from the clouds by the impressively rock-solid Renata Pavam, the corps illuminated the stage and indelibly frames the memory of a thoroughly wonderful performance.


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